This question has been on the top of my mind and I am sure for most parents all over this nation. Some of us may not have had an option to keep our kids home once childcare opened back up due to the essential nature of our work or careers. Some of us are relieved to know that school has officially been released for summer, and we are no longer tasked with the role of teachers and adjusting to a full school schedule. That would be me as well! Haha! However, I wanted to offer some thoughts to consider for parents who are weighing the risks or who are concerned with sending our kids back to school this upcoming year.
1) First I would tell you to talk it over as a family. What are the risks involved with the kids returning back to school? Does your child have any health conditions that could put them at risk from the exposure to the large crowds at school? Could this also compromise other family members at home. In addition, our children’s input and concern or feelings of anxiety can be just as much as ours. Some may have their own reservations while others may want to return to school full-time for feelings of normalization. To be transparent this is my daughter’s desire and as her parent I am not sure I am ready for that.
2) Second I would tell you to participate in the survey from your child's school.
Many school districts across the nation are in discussions to make the best decisions for our children. Many have implemented questionnaire’s and surveys for parents to offer their opinions and choices should they decide to input. Much like when any decision has to be made that considers the buy-in of the majority, we cannot afford to not participate in sharing in the process. Something as important as the safety of your child’s education and the best learning style that will work for them I would say is a pretty big deal.
3) Third I would say give yourself time and grace. Sometimes we are so used to deadlines in other areas of our lives that we are having anxiety of making this decision immediately without being fully comfortable with a decision of yes or no. There is so much uncertainty going on with the global pandemic right now, even from the national leadership level, that as much as has changed in our lives within the past few months, I would ask you to be flexible to consider that more things will for sure change with the rise in continued growth of COVID-19. I also don’t believe any one is coming anytime soon to knock on our doors to tell us our kids must come out.
4) Fourth I would urge you to pray as a family for wisdom and direction. Pray over your children and God’s covering over them daily. Many of us may or may not be fully engaged back into our normal routines, but we may be leaving our homes for essential needs, which means at any time we may become exposed. I firmly believe that the Holy covering that we place over our families can be what makes the difference in the decisions that we make, and our overall well-beings both physical and spiritual.
5) Lastly, I would tell you to make the best decision that works for your family. We have all had different experiences in our lives over the past few months. For some of us COVID-19 has hit our homes hard. Some of us have lost family members, friends, and co-workers. If you are feeling the time isn’t right, and you can still keep your children at home, feel empowered to do so. This is totally up to you. If you want your children to return to school, do so. This is also totally up to you.
My prayer during this time is that as parents we take back the authority we have over our homes that include the best decisions for our children, and not to allow outside influences to make the decisions for the children we were specifically gifted and entrusted with. I pray that God’s protection and covering rest over all the homes of each parent who is faced with these difficult decisions during such a trying time. Amen.